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what moody's does in this environment, where actually we're discussing whether there will be intervention on the ecb? >> first of all, i think it is very relevant because this would bring spain's rating down to junk levels, which is the lowest of all three rating agencies, so it's a pretty big deal. and then the ecb program can't be implemented until spain actually says they want help. so it depends what happens first. i think it's going to be a slippery slope. finally, we've got the budget coming up tomorrow. there are more painful cuts, it could mean more pain for spain and more pain for the euro. >> there's a lot of tifs in tha. >> you could also argue that all the central banks have been ineffective in generating momentum in the markets right now. so even if they're persistently buying, it's really about risk appetite and sentiment. i don't think there's enough there. central banks could come in and make another announcement, but i think having just made these unprecedented announcements, that that could lead to firefighting. >> what are you targeting? >> lo
. so there is -- it's a very skittish, very fragile environment. >> yeah. obviously, the q2 gdp numbers are old, a little dusty here, but they do not show any acceleration which is what we're trying to find clues to in the back half of the of the year. >> i think what happened is europe had a much bigger effect on business sentiment than many people thought. it's been dampening exports and capital spending which is what the durables reflect. as we moved through the summer and stabilized on europe, normally we might get some acceleration. the problem frou is you have the fiscal cliff and the election. people now have yet another excuse not to do anything. had europe not bled into the summer as long as it did, maybe you'd have gotten that spark in activity. but right now you just don't have it. >> are you taking a lot of solace in what housing's done, what confidence is doing? >> yeah, the housing numbers i think are great. that's one of the reasons the economy hasn't been strong to this point in the cycle. housing is keeping us from really stuttering on growth. we need more in housing, a
is slowing. a lot of people say, look, what they're really doing is saying even in this environment we're going to make far more money than we have in the previous downturns if we get it at $6 in earnings, which is well below what they think they can earn. we'll still pay the dividend. i come back and say the acquisition, which they made and a lot of people were critical of, is working. that the synergies are working. that the costs taken out in regards to manufacturing, look, the world is slowing but it is not a disaster. that's why caterpillar is not at 885. >> do you lump this with the warnings from intel and fedex. it is a global company looking at a slowing global company. >> there isn't anything specifically i saw in the cat release that was saying we are not getting it right. this caterpillar is ready for a downturn unlike any other caterpillar we have had. a lot of times caterpillar had terrific numbers in the presentation about how low earnings have been in the slowdown. the headlines for this story, i'm sure he's at home saying, that's not what i said. i did not say things we
mass-oriented environments where it's pegboard and they point you to aisle four, go find it yourself. we've done research that shows in certain categories, especially foundation, the consumer shop en masse, she spends more than when she buys in prestige where she buys in the store to the exact match foundation. the value proposition is around service which is why in this market, in north america, very high percentage of the total beauty business that's done in prestige like macy's because of that service proposition and a relatively low, absolute value differential in the price point. >> we continue to see companies go in and have difficulty in china. one company told us last week that western companies are going into china with western views about the chinese consumer and their loyalty and they're finding that that consumer passes them by in different ways. are there lessons you've already figured out on that front? >> we've been doing business in asia for 30, 40 years. and we first started in japan in the early '70s, then expanded into korea and hong kong. we've been in china doing
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